Two types of smart people



Wednesday March 27, 2024


I’ve walked into many rooms where I’m far from the smartest person. Sometimes it leaves me feeling bad about myself. Other times it leaves me feeling empowered. What explains the difference?

There are two types of smart people. Those who make you feel smarter and those who remind you how smart they are.

Truly brilliant people are focused on learning, and sharing, and helping those who were once like them: eager to learn.

Less brilliant are those who are focused on themselves. Living in an insecure sand castle, they’re helplessly trying to reinforce as the waves of life crash on their egos.

I’m not sure what makes one person the one or the other. It has nothing to do with their background, the titles they hold, the accomplishments they’ve achieved.

Perhaps Beyond Band of Brothers: The War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters explains it (paraphrasing): “war either makes you or breaks you. Either it makes you better or ruins your perception of life”.

A favorite scripture of mind echos the sentiment:

But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility. Alma 62.41


Bryan lives somewhere at the intersection of faith, fatherhood, and futurism and writes about tech, books, Christianity, gratitude, and whatever’s on his mind. If you liked reading, perhaps you’ll also like subscribing: